Scotland Yard Has 600 Counter-Terrorism Officers
Heavily armed new police patrols have been deployed on the streets of London after a wave of terror attacks in Europe.
Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe unveiled the plan to put more highly visible patrols, armed to the teeth with pistols and semi-automatic SIG Carbine rifles, at major landmarks as a deterrent to potential attackers.
As well as guns, the new generation of armed officers also have BMW F800GS motorbikes to allow them to scramble to an incident anywhere in the capital and speed boats so they can deploy from the Thames.
The new officers are masked in order to protect their identity from attackers, which can help in a variety of different circumstances – from hostage situations, targeted attacks to kidnap attempts. The masks provide an extra layer of safety for counter-terrorism officers as they carry out their various specialist tasks.
But today’s announcement – dubbed Operation Hercules by the Met – came against a backdrop of warnings from the Police Federation that it will take two years to deliver a promised increase of 1,500 in the trained-strength of armed officers across the country.
Of the new officers, 600 will be based in London and today’s announcement revealed the first cohort to be trained.
More British police officers are carrying guns after a spate of attacks on the continent, including the Bastille Day massacre in Nice and the murder of a priest in a Normandy Church last week. The expanded firearms units were promised after the Paris attacks last November.